Fullscreen recommended.

Draw Nine puts you in the role of a magician whose powers depend on a pack of magic cards. These can help or harm, but the selection available to you is determined randomly at the start of the game. Since you cannot choose your cards, you must find the path through the world that makes the most of the powers at your disposal.

A game by Damon L. Wakes.

Artwork by Joe Wright.

Special thanks to Xalavier Nelson Jr.Felicity Drake, and everyone from IntroComp 2018, without whom this game would most likely not exist.

Comments

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this was so lovely! the rng added a wonderful layer to this story, and the magic system was truly excellent. the writing was also very engaging - can't wait to replay this and see what other endings i get! :)

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Glad you liked it! There are quite a lot of other options along the way - you can easily run through a second time without repeating any encounters besides the very beginning and very end, and seeing every possible ending will likely demand a certain level of familiarity with them (and a little bit of luck).

A very enjoyable game ! I loved the choices I made and their outcomes. The writing was beautiful and the story really interesting. I will have to play again to see other way this could have ended.

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A true gem of interactive fiction.

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This is lit. Love it! I'm going to play again and again :)

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Hey that was great! The writing is a+, and I really like the premise of random cards with generic defend/attack/'flip a coin and hope for the best' effects. I got lucky on my first playthrough and was able to save the card I wanted for last; and on replays it was really fun to see how different sets of cards would affect the way I tackled obstacles (and sometimes which path I chose)!

I saw you address this in someone elses’s comment but I’m still gonna +1 that the font can be hard to parse at times, and a more dyslexia-friendly alternative would be nice to have. Other than that tho it’s a solid little game and I enjoyed it immensely!

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You might want to check out the demo for The Witch's Yarn. It uses a similar control scheme for IF.  It was released in 2006, I think.

Played through it many times

Very nice and enjoyable game! Thanks!

This was time well-spent! A very enjoyable read, and I'm glad RNG decided to be nice to me for once lol

Looking forward to going through it once more on a later date, if only just to see one of the other possible outcomes.

This was a small joy; very well-written. Will be eager to revisit again.

really fun! Thanks!

Really good, loved this, felt good about the path I took! Interesting how the cards played out in different contexts, that was creative.

That was a very nice read. I am glad that kindess was a choice at the end.

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This sure was an enjoyable read! Nice work!

I agree with Coyoteclaw11 about the cards keeping a description about their enchantment. I had a small blackout in the beginning with their effects, so it would've helped if there would've been a description that helped me remember.

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Oh wow that was a lot of fun and a great read. I think I got a pretty lucky set of cards, and although not every challenge went entirely my way, I'm happy the last one was able to end with kindness. 

My only critique is that the heavily stylized text on a textured background like that isn't the easiest to read. It was doable for me, but may be a lot more difficult if not impossible for others.

I'd also love it if the cards kept a small description of their enchantment throughout the story. I quickly forgot what one of my cards stood for and pretty much just played it by chance.

Thanks for the feedback! I've always intended to come back to this and at the very least put together an Android version, and I think I'll take the opportunity to adjust some other elements of the game as well. I've got a little more experience styling things with Twine since making this and I think if I were to go back and make changes, I'd probably limit the current font to titles and links, and use a slightly more normal serif font for the main text.

I could possibly dial back the level of detail in the background as well. I started off with a blank parchment stock image and blurred/lightened it until it seemed to provide good contrast for the black text, but it could probably be taken a step further towards a solid background without losing the overall effect.

By the way, if the card you forgot was the spider then its effect literally is chance anyway! I was in two minds about including it because having a lot of them greatly reduces the player's influence over the story, but figured it would allow people to hedge their bets on a first run (since it's got a 50% chance of a good result any time it's used) and increase replayability for anyone interested in discovering all the possible options.

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Yeah, my biggest issue with this was the amount of "I have no idea what this is going to do" except that snakes kill and steeds possibly carry me out of danger.  There needs to be a Tooltip, at the very least, to show what the card types are for after the start; it'd be nice to have them numbered up in the corner somewhere so that even when the cards are not on the table you know which ones you have left.

Also -- although perhaps you've already accounted for this -- in playing the game through a second or third time, it'd be nice to see the number of choices that you haven't taken under a given choice, making it easier to hunt through and find paths you haven't yet explored.  And maybe it could keep track of which cards you used on previous encounters with a given location/scenario (and perhaps provide you with a "mystic view of the future" or whatever, as to what lay down that path (that you already tread last time)), so that you could decide whether to use the same card or a different one.

Overall, pretty enjoyable!  Although I wasn't sure if using the snake card at the start was a key factor or just one of many in the ending I got.  I'm a Spade, so it felt right to do the thing that most good-style players wouldn't use (plus, at the time, I was under the impression that perhaps the snake would do something other than kill).

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That's actually pretty much what I was hoping people would pick up from a first run.  The exact effects are up for grabs - the steed has the ability to weep money, for example, which I would hardly expect anyone to guess up front - but basically boil down to benevolent/non-violent versus threatening/lethal. This was partly an exercise in giving the player abilities that would never be universally good or bad, so killing things with the serpent is a "right" choice as often as not (and likewise, the steed is only "good" in situations where it won't leave other travellers stuck with whatever threat you use it to escape).

I have been thinking about including some kind of expandable menu/footer (partly because I'm considering adding audio and should probably have a switch to toggle it on and off). That might offer an unobtrusive way of letting players check what cards they have. It could also just be shown in the corner somewhere, but I'm less confident of my ability to drop it in neatly than I am setting up some kind of show/hide function.

Including a system to track and describe already-seen choices could be neat, but would take an amount of work that I feel is disproportionate to the amount of use people would get out of it. However, I might be able to use colour-coded hyperlinks to track previously visited passages without too much trouble: you wouldn't get a reminder of exactly what the outcome was, but you would have a small clue on screen to indicate that you'd made that choice at least once already. I'll seriously think about it for the Android version, since I imagine that anybody who goes to the trouble of installing the thing would probably be more likely to try and explore all of it.

Thanks for the comment! I'm really glad you enjoyed the game.

<beelinespan class="beeline-node">Remembered links would likely be sufficient, especially as you get near the end of the game and even if you tried to get 100%.  (I'm not generally a 100%er, but I am a Spade, and digging into the little details of a small game is a lot of fun.)  Kinda reminds me of a pattern I saw once for a computer that taught itself a tiny (3x3) version of chess... and was made out of matchboxes, no electricity involved.  (Every time the human wins, remove the bead that indicates the move that made the computer lose.  Eventually, the computer becomes unbeatable.)</beelinespan>

<beelinespan class="beeline-node">The lack of always-good or always-bad options is a nice touch.  I have a storytelling card deck I've been designing with that general theme, which is kinda based around balance or wisdom (the portion of wisdom that judges when to use Tactic A and when to use Tactic B and when to choose a third option).  Like how following authority can be good in one circumstance and bad in another, or how violence can be appropriate in some cases but not in others, or how Nature vs. Technology sometimes goes one way, sometimes another, or how loyalty is not a positive quality when it ties you to a bad person/force.  Even the Loss cards are understood to be a positive change sometimes, and other times a road block that you get stuck in and need to move beyond.</beelinespan>

Oh, that was enjoyable. And man, did my RNG luck actually shine on the good side for once. 

That was a lot of snake cards.

Nice game, great writing. Really enjoyed it!

This was very fun. I really enjoyed this.

Total blast to play through. I'll be back for more.

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I love this. <3 I had so much fun finding things and the random selection, not every choice is a fight, not every card is the right one. Just a lovely game.

Played through it twice, it was so nice to discover what effects the cards had on the first time and have the wonder of new experiences. The second one I strived for the best ending I could get, and because of the cards I was dealt, or perhaps the order I used them, fell short. But that's the whole game's purpose, hah. I really enjoyed this!

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I like the idea of using a random selection of cards to get through your challenges! It was really cool seeing the different effects the cards can have. Played it multiple times and really enjoyed myself. 

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I made all of the "wrong" choices and got a very pleasant ending. I'm really happy with this game! Eventually I'll play through it again. This is something I can see myself returning to.

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There's quite a lot of branching throughout: you can easily run through a second time without repeating a single encounter for the bulk of the game, after that it depends partly what sort of deck you get to begin with. The ending can play out in quite a few different ways too - based on your description, I'm actually not certain which you found!

Hmm, I don't think I can do spoiler tags here so uh... SPOILER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO DOESN'T WANNA READ-

But uhh, so I avoided pretty much every nice-looking town and shelter and path. I just took the scary-looking paths. Had three unicorns, two spiders, four snakes. I saved a snake and came upon my destiny, but I didn't use it. So she thanked me and decided that she wanted to tag along with me and learn a thing or two.

It was very sweet. Also another playthrough ended with me giving her a horse. I haven't tried to kill her yet and at this point I like her too much!

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Definitely enjoyed my experience -- I've not yet tried the game a second time, though might do so eventually.  That said, my first ending definitely felt quite nice -- was definitely going for more of a 'Paragon' ending, and it worked out well with what I had.

I'm really glad you managed to get the kind of ending you were aiming for on your first try. One of my concerns about this was that there's a significant amount of trial-and-error involved in working out what the cards' effects are (and which locations lend themselves to what), so a run of unlucky guesses during a first run is liable to shut a player out of certain endings early on.

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Just one play so far, but I will do so again. Very enjoyable, with great writing and interesting game mechanics via the cards. I'd love to see you create a much longer, broader game, with increased choices and consequences.

Thanks for giving it a go! I've actually got quite a range of other games already written, but not yet made them available on Itch specifically. I'm hoping to take the opportunity to improve them a little before I do. Project Procrustes might be close to what you're looking for, though: it allows you to create your own character and plays out very differently depending on your choices.

Thanks – I'd already taken a look at your site and seen your other games. Will hopefully give a few a go sometime soon.

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I played this several times in a row, to get all the plot and had a lot of fun doing so! The art is really beautiful and the story was touching.

Great work!

So glad you liked it! I was hoping there'd be enough to the story that people would give it more than one go.